NLRB v. Fleetwood Trailer Co., Inc. - 389 U.S. 375 (1967)


U.S. Supreme Court

NLRB v. Fleetwood Trailer Co., Inc., 389 U.S. 375 (1967)

National Labor Relations Board v. Fleetwood Trailer Co., Inc.

No. 49

Argued November 8, 1967

Decided December 18, 1967

389 U.S. 375

Syllabus

Respondent, employer, on the termination of a strike against it by union members, announced that it could not then reinstate the strikers because of production curtailment caused by the strike. Respondent planned to resume full production as soon as possible. Two days after the strike and on a number of subsequent occasions, six strikers applied for reinstatement but were rejected on the ground that no jobs were available. However, about two months after the strike, respondent hired six new employees for jobs for which the striker-applicants were qualified. The six striker-applicants, who were not reinstated until about a month later, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) charging unfair labor practices within the meaning of §§ 8(a)(1) and (3) of the National Labor Relations Act because of interference with the exercise of the rights to organize and to strike guaranteed by §§ 7 and 13. The Trial Examiner, after hearing, found that the job openings filled by the new applicants could have been filled by the striker-applicants and made recommendations, which the NLRB adopted, that respondent should reimburse the six striker-applicants for earnings losses attributable to respondent's failure to reinstate them when it hired the six new employees. The Court of Appeals denied the NLRB's enforcement petition, holding that the strikers' right to jobs must be judged as of the date when they first applied, when there were no jobs available.

Held:

1. Respondent's refusal to reinstate the strikers constituted an unfair labor practice under the Act, since respondent did not show that its action was due to "legitimate and substantial business justifications." NLRB v. Great Dane Trailer, 388 U. S. 26. Pp. 378-380.

2. The right of strikers to reinstatement does not depend upon job availability when they first apply, but continues until they have obtained "other regular and substantially equivalent employment,"

Page 389 U. S. 376

§ 2(3), at least where, as here, their continued desire for reinstatement is apparent. Pp. 380-381.

366 F.2d 126, vacated and remanded.



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